Collecting Cans


I was riding down Milwaukee Avenue Sunday morning when this type caught my eye:

“It’s not where you’r from it’s where you’r at” [sic]

I circled around to find it.  Although I could see it from the street, the building was set back a little, tucked along the EL tracks.

I propped my bike against the wall and walked back far enough so that I could get the whole building.  As I started to shoot, this gentleman walked through the frame.  He looked right at me and continued on out of my line of sight.

Although I couldn’t see him, in the quiet of the early morning I could still hear the cans tinkling against each other as he added them to his cart.

I got back on my bike and went in the same direction he had gone.  I just wanted to wish him a ‘good morning.’  He was in the street as I pulled up next to him.

He turned his head, gave me the warmest smile imaginable and said “hello.”

His cart was weighed down with bags, neatly spaced and tied around the perimeter, filled to the brim with cans.  There was an old toaster and other miscellaneous items on the bottom rack of the cart.  He had to lean over slightly to push it.

I don’t speak Spanish, and he didn’t speak much English, so our conversation was brief.  He nodded in agreement as I commented on the beautiful morning.  I bid him a good day and started to ride off.  He gave me a sweet little wave as he crossed in front of my bike to grab a can he spotted near the curb.

Where you’re at….or who you are?

Either way, it’s definitely not where you’re from.

- Suzanne

  • Eric Hutchins

    What Amanda said.

    • suzanne deveney

      Thanks Eric

  • AmandaGaleKotyk

    Thank you, Suzanne, for another powerful post. You have an inspirational spirit, and it comes through in everything you write! I’m thankful you’re hear to share your adventures with us each week!

    • suzanne deveney

      Thanks Amanda. He had such great energy.